Every time I think something is the last straw, that “they” (The Powers That Be) have gone too far, something happens to lower the bar to even more ridiculous levels than a Sylvester and Tweety Bird cartoon.
Case in point is this latest headline from Fox News: Michigan Woman Faces Civil Rights Complaint for Seeking Christian Roommate. A 31 year-old Michigan woman posted an advertisement at her church last July seeking a Christian roommate. Sounds simple enough, but her innocuous action has now spiraled into a civil rights complaint being filed against her.
Whatever happened to the freedom to choose how you want to live your life and whom you want to associate with, never mind Freedom of Religion? The complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan claims the ad expresses “an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths.”
According to Executive Director Nancy Haynes, this is a discriminatory statement and there are no exemptions (although there is an exemption for gender.) The so-called Fair Housing Act prohibits people from publishing an advertisement stating their preference of religion, race or handicap with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling.
First of all, I’m not sure posting on a church bulletin board can be considered an ad. And is looking for a roommate the same thing as renting or selling a dwelling? This woman simply wanted a compatible companion in her own living space in the same way people search for a sympatico mate or date via personal ads. I don’t know which is worse, the fact that you can’t advertise for a roommate with similar values to share your life or that some Judas from her church saw her posting on the church bulletin board and reported her to the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan.